If the deputy leadership contest ends up between Tim Farron and Simon Hughes, my head says Tim, who has huge amounts of dynamism and energy and my heart says Simon, who is where I'm at politically. I kind of feel that my heart is owed.
Or so I wrote 2 weeks ago.
Thank you, MPs, for electing Simon as Deputy Leader tonight. His main strength is his ability to inspire. His main weakness is his abiity to organise. The Deputy Leader role has all of the former and none of the latter. He will be utterly brilliant at it. I'm on a kind of food metaphor binge tonight so Simon really is your ultimate comfort food, perfectly seasoned mashed potato, or gooey chocolate pudding, or toad in the hole with onion gravy with loads of madeira in it. He'll be great for getting us through the "bumps and scrapes" of the coalition that Nick described. When I'm locked in that cupboard with the gin bottle, it'll be Simon who encourages me out and gets me phone canvassing or delivering leaflets again.
Here are his coments tonight on his election:
“It is an honour and a privilege for me to follow Vince Cable as the new Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats. This is not a responsibility I will ever take lightly..
“I will fight every day for the principles which underpin our party: fairness, freedom, openness, equality, stewardship of our environment and standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
“I will work tirelessly with Nick Clegg and all other Liberal Democrats to help liberal democracy blossom and flourish throughout the land.”
That's our Simon, showing exactly why I campaigned for him for leader and president. Good luck to him in his new role.